Kochi: The aggregate revenue earnings at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple recorded an all-time high of Rs 148 crore during the Mandalam puja period, the first half of the three-month long annual pilgrimage season.
“The earnings for the Mandalam period was recorded at Rs 1, 48, 84, 48, 569, an increase of nearly 14 crore when compared to the corresponding period last season. This is an all-time high as the earnings during 2014 Mandalam season was Rs 141.64 crore only,” said a senior Travancore Devaswom Board official.
However, the hundi collection (Kanikka) took a dip compared to the corresponding period in the previous pilgrim seasons, thanks to the demonetization initiative.
“While revenue collection from all other sources like Abhishekham and Appam, Aravana sales increased, that from hundi during the Mandalam season was Rs 50, 87, 06, 322, a dip of over Rs 62 lakh when compared to corresponding period last season ( Rs 51, 49, 43, 024),” he said.
The total earning for the entire season is expected to surpass Rs 208. 65 crore revenue recorded last season. ( Rs 203 in 2014-15, Rs 175.85 in 2013-14).
Meanwhile, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation earned Rs 11.78 crore in the Mandalam season. The Pamba depot operated 19, 589 services using 151 buses and earned a revenue collection of Rs 8, 38, 10, 988. The earning recorded by Chengannur and Kottayam depots are Rs 2, 18, 96, 353 and Rs 1, 21, 35, 356 respectively.
“With an increase in passenger inflow, we’ve decided to include more buses for conducting Pamba services. We’ve already brought four more non-stop Sabari Specials here,” said a KSRTC official....